Faith Brings Revelation
Recently, the Lord captured my attention regarding faith and how it operates. While I have studied faith quite a bit, I had never really looked at it from this perspective before. I have always been one who would confess that I live by faith. Even while growing up, my mother has always said that if they needed an answer, they would tell me to pray because I knew how to get answers to my prayers. Yet in all of this, the Lord really challenged me as He opened the door to the greater workings of faith.
In John 5:39, the Lord tells us, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. (NKJ)” Notice that the Lord states that we search the scriptures because we ‘think’ that through them we have eternal life. That’s an interesting statement because we do obtain eternal life through the Word of God. Yet, when Jesus says, “…for in them you ‘think’ you have eternal life” there is an implied message that our thinking is wrong.
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If you grab your Bible, you will see that Jesus Himself actually spoke these Words, which means He was trying to get a message across to us. If we study and meditate on this passage, we start seeing that the Lord is dealing with, for lack of a better word, formulas instead of relationship.
When we read our Bibles, we often look for what confirms our current belief system. We look for rules thinking that if we live by those rules, we can justify that we have secured eternal life. Many Christians can boast that they study the Word daily, pray daily, tithe faithfully, give offerings and help the poor and because all of these things are confirmed in the scriptures, we say, “I am on my way to heaven.” This is exactly the same situation the rich young ruler found himself in. He had observed all the scriptures from his youth, yet when he came in contact with the true Word (Jesus) he was unwilling to do what the Word required of him.
Let me further illustrate what Jesus was stating by expanding our scripture reference a little further.
(38) "But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. (39) "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. (40) "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. (NKJ)
With this expanded reference, we see that Jesus is talking about the difference between knowing what the scriptures state and having the Word alive within you. The importance of this is that our lives will operate differently with each. The rich young ruler had a working knowledge of the Word, yet that knowledge could only take him so far. Compare him to others like the Apostle Paul, Peter, or Stephen who had the Word alive within them.
We see Jesus telling us that eternal life does not come from following a formula of salvation. Eternal life comes from the Word abiding within you. And when that Word is abiding within you, it will cause you to live your life a certain way. In fact, everywhere our lives do not line up with the Word of God is an area that the Word of God is not abiding within us.
Jesus in John 5:39 speaks a very powerful truth about the natural tendencies of mankind to take the scripture and use it as a justification that we are heaven bound. So we must hear what Jesus is saying. He is telling us that if we take this approach we are missing it because eternal life comes through knowing Him, becoming like Him, and living like Him.
So let’s look and see what it really means to know Him and become like Him:
(16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it [gospel of Christ] is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (17) For in it [gospel of Christ] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." (NKJ)
What is this scripture telling us? First of all, let’s make sure we understand what the “gospel of Christ” is because all of it centers on this one terminology.
Let's start with our understanding of what the word “Christ” means. As we know, Christ is not Jesus’ last name. When Jesus would introduce Himself back in the days that He was physically in this earth He might say something like, “Hello, I am Jesus Christ.” If this were to occur, the person He was introducing Himself to heard, “Hello, I am Jesus the Anointed One.” A common reply might be, “What are you anointed to do, Jesus?” and His response would be taken out of Luke 4:18 which states that He was anointed to, “…preach the gospel to the poor; …to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” So when the scripture talks about the gospel of Christ, it is dealing directly with the power to change any circumstance in your life.
The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” So we could accurately translate the “gospel of Christ” to the “good news of the anointing.”
Notice in this passage that we are not told to memorize the Bible or learn a formula, but that we are to believe [faith is being introduced] in the good news of the anointing because the good news of the anointing is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.
At this point, we need to stop for just a moment and ask ourselves, “What is the good news of the anointing?” The answer to that question is actually quite simple. To the person who is on their way to hell, it is salvation into an eternity with God in heaven. To the person who is sick, it is salvation into divine health. To the person who is depressed or oppressed, it is salvation to deliverance. Whatever problem you face, good news is deliverance from that problem.
Where we miss God’s best so often is that our focus is on finding out how to make it to heaven instead of learning how to live in the anointing. The anointing is good news. Good news at any level is better than where you currently are at, and the anointing is what makes that possible. If you have the greatest job in the world that makes a whole lot of money and your employer calls you in because they have good news, your understanding would be that things are about to get even better. If you are broke, sick, and depressed and someone calls you on the phone with good news, again you understand that things are going to get better. The gospel of Christ has something for each of us, no matter how good, bad or indifferent our circumstance may be. There is always promotion when it comes to the gospel of Christ.
Verse 17 then tells us: “For in it [gospel of Christ] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’."
According to the scripture, the “righteousness of God” is revealed in the good news of the anointing. When dealing with the righteousness of God, you are dealing with all of the character attributes of God--all that God is is revealed in the gospel of Christ from faith to faith.
This is where verse 17 gets real interesting. In the gospel of Christ, all that God is has been revealed to us from faith to faith. What typically happens, however, is that we find our security for eternity through our knowledge of the scriptures. Yet, according to the Word, we are to move from faith to faith, which means there should never be a place where we grow comfortable in stopping our journey because there is always a better place. At whatever place we find ourselves, there is more good news coming because of the good news of the anointing.
Let me now illustrate by example how this works in real life. How would you like it if someone were to come up to you and tell you that from now until the day you go into eternity, you will be given $250,000 a year to live on?
Most would be ecstatic! However, what do you think Bill Gates or Michael Jordan would say if they were told they were going to have $250,000 per year the rest of their life to live on? They probably would respond with great disappointment because it would be very difficult for them to live on that amount.
What’s the difference? Revelation! Bill Gates and Michael Jordan have the revelation of what it takes to live far beyond that amount per year. For them, it would not take faith to live at that level; it would require cutbacks, downsizing, and lowering of standards to live there. For most reading this article, however, it would take faith to get there and stay there.
I told you in the beginning of this article that the Lord dealt with me about faith. What He dealt with me on is this next statement. Faith does not even begin until it challenges your current revelation. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for. In other words, the substance to your faith is that which you hope for.
Take your life right now and analyze it--how many cars you have, whether you are buying or renting a home, your current income level, everything that makes your life what it is right now. How much faith does it require for you to live at your current level? “Very little” would be your answer because you have a revelation of how to operate at that level, unless of course you have gotten yourself way over your head and you are drowning in debt.
That is why most people would be ecstatic to be able to live at $250,000 per year because at their current level of revelation, it is something they could only hope for.
Revelation can either be a good thing or a bad thing. What typically happens is that in the church, it’s a bad thing and in the world it’s a good thing. Let me explain. If Bill Gates makes a billion dollars this year, he will acquire the understanding of how to operate at that level (revelation) and he will say within himself, “Now I have the ability to make 2 billion,” (hope). With every accomplishment and with every success, he uses the revelation knowledge he acquires to move into the next level of what he is hoping for. In the church world, however, the Christian will say, “I have been saved (revelation) and now I can wait for eternity to live with Jesus in heaven,” (complacency). Then they get scriptures to justify that they are saved and never come to understand how the good news of the anointing could take them to the next level.
According to the Word, we are to live from faith to faith – from revealing to revealing – from new and greater hope to new and greater hope. That is the power of God to salvation at work in an individual’s life. Sadly, most Christians are stuck in the same revelation that they got 20 years ago.
The problem that is so prevalent within the church is that we do operate at some level of revelation. But when we operate at our current revelation, with an attitude that we have our life figured so that we have achieved salvation, we fail to realize that there is greater revelation beyond what we currently have.
When we fail to realize that there is greater revelation beyond what we currently have, then we search the scriptures to justify our belief instead of finding out more about Who it is really testifying of. When we do that, we fail to live by faith, moving from faith to faith. It does not take faith to live at the level you are currently living at – doing the things that you are currently doing because you already have the revelation of how to operate at that level. Nor does it require hope [the substance of your faith] to live at your current level. Whatever you hope for is always beyond where you currently are, and it is that hope which becomes the substance of your faith.
Searching the scriptures to know more of God will always result in us moving out of our current place of revelation and into a new and greater place because that is what the gospel of Christ is all about.
It does not matter how much God has used you in the past or how much He is currently using you, there are always higher places to go. In Acts chapter ten, the Apostle Peter had a vision where the Lord told him to eat some food that was considered unclean. At that point in Peter’s life, he had already preached a powerful sermon on the day of Pentecost, he had healed the lame man, Ananias and Sapphira had fallen dead at his feet, and his shadow had already healed people.
Peter was not some “wet behind the ears new convert.” He was a powerful man of God. Yet even in all that he had done and in all that he was, it was not until he stepped beyond his current revelation that he fulfilled his purpose in life.
So many people miss what God is trying to do in their lives because they find a level of revelation they are comfortable operating in, and then they stay there searching the scriptures, justifying why they are saved.
Let me challenge you today to realize there is more revelation that the Lord wants you to walk in. The gospel of Christ, which reveals the power of God to salvation, will always bring you into better places. With each promotion, however, there is a new level of revelation that you have to learn to operate at. This will challenge your faith, but it is in this growth that we move from faith to faith.
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